About the Austin Tango Society
The Austin Tango Society formed in September 2013 and is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit charitable corporation. Our purpose is to promote Argentine Tango in Austin and Central Texas.
- To support educational and practice opportunities for those currently or potentially interested in Argentine Tango.
- To support our local Tango teachers whose livelihoods depend on their base of Tango aficionados.
- To provide a neutral and far-reaching information base with for all Argentine Tango activities in Austin and Central Texas.
- To encourage an inclusive, open, and supportive Tango Community, which continues to be the hallmark of our Austin Community.
- To help other organizations that serve our Argentine Tango Community.
The Austin Spring Tango Festival was founded in 2005 by Vance Rightmire and Margaret Loeb with the design of benefiting local dancers. The inaugural Festival had a modest attendance of 35 dancers.
Over the years the Festival flourished under Vance and Margaret’s leadership. Margaret, sadly, passed away in 2010, and with the Festival’s exponential growth, the Austin Tango Society was formed in 2013 to take over the management of the Festival.
In 2017 the Austin Tango Society launched the Guided Practica Program to expand the community support and help teachers and dancers throughout the year.
Our Primary Activities
- The Austin Spring Tango Festival is our largest event held annually at the end of March. The Festival runs from Friday through Sunday, and we are proud to bring in the best teachers from all over the world. Each day includes classes and a Milonga (with two on Saturday). On Sunday night, we host our signature event, the Asado Dinner Milonga with both indoor and outdoor dancing. The festival attracts over 300 dancers each year, visiting from all over the U.S. and international visitors as well!
- We host and manage the website and Master Calendar for all Argentine Tango events in Austin and Central Texas including Milongas, Practicas, classes, and visiting teachers workshops. We are pleased to include all public events from all sponsors in our Community.
Guided Practica Program
- We support 2 Guided Practicas each week in Austin by paying for rotating local teachers to be available at the Practica. These teachers offer free individual instruction, advice, and support to all dancers who request it. Teachers in the program qualify by teaching weekly paid classes for over a year in Austin, and the individual Practicas are hosted by local community members.
Our Board of Directors
The Austin Tango Society is managed by a Board of Directors. As the Society is not a membership organization, new Board Members are chosen by the existing Board. Board Members receive no financial compensation for their service, and Tango professionals (those who earn a substantial part of their income for teaching or selling tango-related products) are ineligible for board membership. Board Members are chosen with a view toward achieving diversity (ethnicity, gender, and age) within the board, functional expertise, and a willingness to spearhead our projects that support the Austin Tango Community throughout the year.
Focus: Corporate Governance
David has been an entrepreneur and investor in the high-tech area for many years. He was founder and CEO for 12 years of a publicly-held computer software firm with offices around the world, served as a General Partner in a venture capital investment firm for 15 years, and has served on the board of directors of a variety of public and privately-held companies. He has been an avid Argentine Tango dancer for about 8 years.
Holly is a 6th generation Texan who spent an almost 20-year sojourn in NYC working in book publishing. While in New York, she found the Argentine Tango Community in 2011 and volunteered at Triangulo, New York’s only Tango-exclusive dance studio, helping out in classes and hosting Milongas. Holly is an avid tanguera and looks up the local tango community wherever she travels. She moved back to Texas to Austin in 2016 and is proud to be a part of the Austin Tango Community.
Focus: City of Austin Grant and Community Survey
Ken-Hou is a sociology professor at the University of Texas at Austin. He was born in Taipei, Taiwan and has lived in Austin since 2013.
Focus: Festival Registration
Monza Lui conspired with Vance Rightmire to form the Austin Tango Society. She moved from Hong Kong to the United States a lifetime ago to pursue a different way of living. Monza has been social dancing for at least 15 years, in which the last 10 were exclusively Argentine Tango. She believes Tango brings connection among people, who are needing it more than ever. Monza currently owns and operates Monza Lui Media to help companies with their digital communications.
Focus: Festival Management and Community Relations
Vance has formed and run a few small businesses as partnerships and sole proprietorships over the last 30 + years. He organized and ran the Austin Spring Tango Festival in Austin Texas for the last 13 years, with the help of many willing and able volunteers! He started dancing and studying Argentine Tango in the late 90’s, and is dedicated to encouraging and supporting the growth of that dance form in the Austin area.
Focus: Finance and Accounting
Amy is a native of Austin and now an avid Tango dancer. She has 21+ years of Accounting experience in various industries as well as non-proft organizations. During this time, she followed her passion in other areas of interest such as health and fitness. In recent years, she has combined all her experience and developed a coaching practice with respect to wellness and life balance. Pretty much on any given day you can find Amy swimming at Barton Springs.
Previous Board Members include Cindy Mason, Francesco Tuzzolino, Madhu Prasha, Liliana Espinosa de Hoyos, and Sarah Tomlinson.